China is chasing dominance in emerging artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in both the private and military sectors, as a central part of its effort to be the leading global cyber power. The rise of AI – a subset of cyber as are machine learning, quantum computing, and other new technologies – does not herald a new arms race equivalent to that of the Cold War. Rather, the concern should be on the profound disruption to the existing westernized global order. This piece reviews how the 1990s westernized national creation called cyberspace created so many ubiquitous, embedded vulnerabilities whose easy exploitation directly accelerated the rise of an otherwise impoverished authoritarian and aggressive China. Today no single democracy has the scale and sufficient resources to alone match the foreknowledge and strategic coherence of the newly confident and assertive China. To change current global trends, the small group of consolidated democratic civil societies needs a collective approach to counter China’s growing dominance across all fields of cyberspace. The piece ends describing the Cyber Operational Resilience Alliance (CORA) to provide the public and private scale and collective strategic coherence required to ensure the future wellbeing and security of democracy in an overwhelmingly authoritarian, post-western, cybered world. This article is free-access in the May/June issue until July 1, 2019.
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Issue: Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Volume 75 Issue 3
Keywords: AI, China, Cyber, Scale, security, strategy
Topics: Artificial Intelligence, Disruptive Technologies